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Wordeater 79 Staff 
Donna Aiello, Christian Bernal, Jeff Hicks, Jennifer Jay, DinajProcenti, Mark Schillinger 



In order to get a selection published in this issue, three of tr e 
For the award winners, only John Stoqart 




Manuscripts or cover designs for 

Wordeater 80 

must be submitted to John Stobart 
in room c- 1069 by: 



May 4, 1992 



Manuscripts should be typed 
and will not be returned. 



above had to vote for acceptance 
is resposible. 



AWARDS 



Poetry 

$5 to Christian Bernal 
$5 to Tricia Concaildi 
$5 to Jennifer Jay 
$5 to Lyubov Mir 
$5 to Shelly Partilla 
$5 to R. Harrison Smith 
$5 to David Tieman 
$5 to Jonathan Wolff 



Prose 
$10toLindaSteger 

Covers 

$20 to Jamie Dean 




Next Deadlines: 



May 4, 1992 
September 20, 1992 




All copyrights are retained by the authors, and materials will not be reprinted 
without their permission. 




TABLE OF CONTENTS 





Christian Bernal 


Sitting and Writing 




Marie Cecily 


Why 




Laura Offrink 


Put My Hard Flat Body 




MarkDarwyn 


Stray Cat 




Tricia Cocialdi 


Help Me 


2 


R. Harrison Smith Lot "J" 


2 


Jennifer Jay 


Graduation Tassels 


2 


Jennifer Jay 


Used to Think About 


3 


Ann Collet 


A Poet Trapped in a 
Science Teacher's Body 


3 


Christian Bemal 


An Innocent Creature 


3 


Marie Cecily 


Once Sleeping, Calm and 
Peaceful 


3 


R. Harrison Smith Mr. Unethical 


4 


Kevin Olchawa 


The Elevator 


5 


David Tieman 


Seasonal Fanclub 


5 


Marie Cecily 


The Caged Heart 


5 


David Tieman 


The Painter/Gardener 


5 


Steev Custer 


If I Could Choose to Have 


6 


Linda Steger 


Come Play 


6 


LaDonna Hite 


I Looked Around 


6 


Donica Rampa 


All the Silicone Snow Has 


6 


MarkDarwyn 


A Normal Kind of Trip 


7 


Tricia Concaildi 


"Put Down the Gun!" 


7 


Lyubov Mir 


I Miss You 


7 


Christian Bemal 


This Last Caress 


7 


Justin Gale 


Eating Americana 


7 


Shelly Partilla 


Chipping Away 


8 


Jennifer Jay 


The Intricacy of My 
Lace Curtains 


8 


Jeff Hicks 


"976" 


8 


R. Harrison Smith Weedlings 


8 


Steev Custer 


I Brought You a Broken 
Arrow 


8 


LaDonna Hite 


Yesterday 


9 


Lyubov Mir 


In the Courtyard 


9 


Brent Senholtz 


Ode to a Late Friend 


9 


David Tieman 


A Reoccuring Dream 


9 


Jennifer Jay 


Vinegar Fumes Roll 
Through my Nose 


9 


Shelly Partilla 


Sipping Sweet Tea 


10 


Donica Rampa 


I Rushed Around a Comer 


10 


MarkDarwyn 


Survival of the Fittest 


10 


Laura Offrink 


Piggy Bank 


10 


Linda Steger 


I Keep Empties 


11 


Jennifer Jay 


What Depends So Much on a 
Red Wheelbarrow? 


11 


Lyubov Mir 


For You, My Friend 


11 


Marie Cecily 


Child's Innocence 


11 


Janine Passehl 


Solitude 


12 


Linda Steger 


Lisa 


12 


Lyubov Mir 


Only the Sky 


12 


Justin Gale 


Unending Detention 


12 


Steev Custe 


I Have My Vices 


13 


Jennifer Jay 


Ted-Ted 



13 


Laura Offrink 


Snowflake 


13 


Jennifer Jay 


Little Buds are Popping Out 


13 


Christian Bemal 


Contortion 


14 


Marie Cecily 


My Friend Left Me 


14 


Shelly Partilla 


A Date with Destiny 


14 


Lyubov Mir 


The Voices Fade 


14 


Frank Sanchez 


A Sky of Scenes 


14 


Tricia Concaildi 


The Audition 


15 


R. Harrison Smith When Elephants 






Dance 


15 


Kevin Olchawa 


Circles 


15 


David Tieman 


Imprisonment 


15 


Christian Bemal 


Listening to the Quiet 


16 


Shelly Partilla 


Third Grade Lovers 


16 


David Tieman 


Graveyard Bunny 


16 


Christian Bemal 


Despite All the Pain 
and Suffering 


17 


Lyubov Mir 


It's Not Him 


17 


Jennifer Jay 


Passion Swirled and Writhed 


17 


Marie Cecily 


The Leaves 


17 


Jonathan Wolff 


It Has Been Several Years 


19 


Lyubov Mir 


Tell Me, Is It Love? 


19 


David Tieman 


Modem Farmer 


19 


Christain Bernal 


Tommorow 


19 


Steev Custer 


In a Lonely Library 


19 


Shelly Partilla 


You Thought I Thought 


20 


Jennifer Jay 


Lace Curtains Look Lovely 


20 


Marie Cecily 


To the One I Hold Most Dear 


20 


Jonathan Wolff 


Shadows 


20 


David Tieman 


A Beautiful Liquid 


21 


Linda Steger 


Bethlehem 


23 


Christian Bernal 


Vodka Bowl 


23 


MarkDarwyn 


Sin for Life 


23 


Donica Rampa 


Rolling Stone 


23 


Jonathan Wolff 


Shriveled 


23 


Donica Rampa 


No Personal Checks 


24 


Rick Kroeza 


Clear Waters 


24 


Jeff Hicks 


The Evil Inside of You 


24 


Donica Rampa 


Take a Look at Me 


24 


MarkDarwyn 


On Wisconsin 


24 


Steev Custer 


A.P.I.B.L. 


25 


Lyubov Mir 


She Writes with Her Pen 


25 


Justin Gale 


Jan 20th 


25 


Laura Offrink 


Daybreak 


25 


Donica Rampa 


Livin' on the Edge 


26 


Jennifer Jay 


Once 


26 


Lyubov Mir 


The Starless Sky 


26 


Marie Cecily 


When All Your Caring 
has Left Your Life 


26 


MarkDarwyn 


Late Night Jazz Listener 


27 


Christian Bernal 


Over the Chills 


27 


Teresa Garcia 


My Own Perfect World 


27 


Steev Custer 


I Drove Through Your Hurt 


27 


Donica Rampa 


Beautiful Child 


28 


Linda Steger 


Nearly Spring 


28 


Jonathan Wolff 


Come! 



SITTING AND WRITING 

Christian Bernal 

Sitting and writing by candle-light 
Dancind shadows flickering in darkness 
Silent silhouettes in a light barren dwelling 
Still movements in the air. 
Hot- 
Wax running down ... the cool candle 

Electric sparks behind my eyelids (blue) 
nestle me in slumber 

May I die before I wake. . . 

WHY 

Marie Cecily 

Why do we have to go to war? 

Why can't they just stop askin' for more? 

Why do the leaders have to lie? 

Why do the little ones have to die? 

Why don't the guilty have to pay? 

Why can't they just do like the children say? 

Why can one man hold so much hate, 

And still hold power over our fate? 

PUT MY HARD FLAT BODY 

Laura Offrink 



STRAY CAT 

MarkDarwyn 



Oh yeah you 

Slow and slim 
cat on the prowl. 

All that is missing in your 
cat walk is a jungle to 
surround your feline grace. 

Green eyes glow outward 
in the sun and shade alike, 
as you strut toward me 
with a slight smurk 
that betrays a stealthy 
feline confidence. 

In a fit of anger 
would you rake my back? 
In an animal act of sexing 
I can imagine you 
stretched on all fours 
squealing in feline passion. 

Are you prowling toward me 
with this in mind or are you 
straying past me to find 
another mate? 



HELP ME 



Put my hard flat body 

Inside your warm wet mouth 

Let the texture 

Pick up some of your wetness 

Chew me up 

And carelessly toss me around 

Blow into me 

And watch me expand 

Then pop me with your finger 

Throw me around again 

And again with your tongue 

I like it 

I am your chewing gum 



Tricia Concaildi 



Help me. 

I'm falling. 

my right hand, 

my strongest 

clenches the rope so tightly 

that my knuckles are white. 

If I can just get my other . . . 

and I fall, 

but I catch with my left 

not as strong, but holding. 

I can reach the rope 

with the right now. 

I have both hands on the rope. 

I am beginning to climb. 

and I fall. 

lower than before, only one hand keeps me. 

(con't) 



-1- 



HELP ME, continued 

and I fall. 

and the fight is continual. 

lower and lower 
and there is no end 
and I am weak 
and I am tired 

and I am lonely 

and I fall. 



GRADUATION TASSELS 

Jennifer Jay 



LOT "J" 

R. Harrison Smith 



Students strolling 

As they talk. 

They know I'm following 

As they walk. 

Sitting behind 
My steering wheel, 
A place to park 
I hope they yield. 

Just when I'm sure 
I'll get what I must, 
They scamper past 
And jump on a bus. 

Frustrated and angry 
While peering thru glass, 
In a few more minutes 
I'll be late for class. 

Cruising too long 
Or waiting for space, 
Prompts campus cops 
To get in my face. 

Threatened with tickets 
And directed away, 
They end my quest 
To park in lot "J". 



Graduation tassels 
Hung from the door 
Much like a little person 
With a tiny head 
And long, long body 
Stretched out perhaps 
From hanging there too long 
By its neck 



USED TO THINK ABOUT 



Jennifer Jay 



Used to think about 

The beach 

Just at that time of day 

Between afternoon and dusk. 

The sky would be hot gold 

So would the sea 

With an undeterminable horizon. 

There I'd be on pale sand 

Foam bubbling between 

Grains and smooth red pebbles 

Just a blur in your eyes 

A backdrop for your 

Focus 
on me. 

That's why I bought the dress. 

It's a summer one 

Below my knees 

With pointy blue flowers. 

Wind blows 

Shoulders glow 

Dress flows 

Back shows 

Hair gleams 

Arms stream 

Eyes beam 
Close your own. 
A vision not seen 
Never that scene. 

I still have the trace of pearly beads I never sewed. 



-2- 



A POET TRAPPED IN A SCIENCE TEACHER'S 
BODY 

Ann Collet 

On notes home: 

Mrs. Jones, I'm sad to say 

Tom misbehaved in class today. 

Can I see you, sooner or later, 

to discuss the fate of this instigator? 

Mr. Smith: 

Your son Jim is quite bright 
But can he think instead of fight? 
We must meet, you, me and Jim 
to discover what's gotten into him. 

Mrs. Johnson: 
Susan has been doing well 
but lately, well, it's hard to tell 
if she's spending time on class assignments, 
or spending time with a football lineman. 
Her work hasn't been up to her past standards 
I hope I haven't been too candid. 
We must discuss this lowered performance 
before the effects become enormous. 

On exam day: 
Put your name on the 

top of the test; 
Be quiet, try hard and 

do your best! 

During class: 

Fetal pigs are as easy to disect as butter 
just be careful; 
don't slit his gut~er~ 
small intestine. 

Look for the heart, the liver, 

the lungs, 
find the esophagus, trachea, 

and tongue. 

His skeleton is soft, 

but his brain is guite fragile. i 

Be careful, don't slip 

when you go to dismantle 
the occipital lobe near the 

atlas and axis 
You get but one shot, 
there are no second chances. 



AN INNOCENT CREATURE 

Christian Bernal 

Running about 
scurrying 
on the tree 
on the ground 

playing on the soft white skin of winter 

quickly across the icy lake 

too far 
to view 

ONCE SLEEPING, CALM AND PEACEFUL 

Marie Cecily 

Once sleeping, calm and peaceful: 
You woke me. 
Now, restless, I toss and flail 
Upon the bed of uncertainty. 
Always alert, always questioning, 
Never resting from the unrelenting truth. 
Burning for the answers unheard, 
Unyielding as time in my search. 
You broke the links that were 
Chaining me to the wall of faith. 
With all stability gone 
My supports crumble. 
I lay sprawled and broken 
Across the cold, hard ground. 
Turning now, in my agony, I look 
Only to find you there, laughing. 

MR. UNETHICAL 

R. Harrison Smith 

There was once an effective manager 
Who was a leader with much appeal. 
"Be honest to the one who pays you", 
He said, "and never ever steal." 

Following his words, and this golden rule, 
His employees had fallen ill. 
Their mentor, it seems, had failed them all, 
He got caught with his hand in the till. 



THE ELEVATOR 

Kevin Olchawa 

Hey there, howz ya'll doin'? My name's Teddy, 
Teddy Whetfield. I'd like to welcome ya'll to our little 
town of Haddenville. What'U be your pleasure? 

Naw we don't git that imported stuff . . . Bud, Old 
Mil, Old Style, Busch, and Miller Lite, a favorite with the 
ladies, on tap. 

Yessir. Two Buds it'll be. 

What brings ya'll to town? 

Business? 

Well, I'll be . . . Lathum's Farm? Gosh, that must 
be at least twenty acres . . . What're ya fixin to do wh'it? 

A shoppin' mall! I'll be pickled pigs feet! We 
gonna go urban! 

Hold on . . . ya mean a big shoppin' mall? Ya 
best not put any elevators in it! 

Hey, don't go gettin' all sore over me now. S'just 
these people are tight, these people don't like alevators. 

. . . Hmmm . . . 

Caught yer eye? Huh. Both ya, take a good look 
at it. It's jus not any funeral pres'sion. Hey, hey, hey now, 
slow down, jus relax. Geez you city folk sure are jittery. 

Well, I'm gonna tell ya this story I jus best start at 
the beginnin'. 

Humm... two more Buds, no problem, here ya go. 
Now, 

like I jus said, these folks don't like elevators. 
Haddenville's a small town. No elevators, no need for 
elevators. 

But to git to my story-well to be honest witcha 
it's John Lathum's story. A guy who works with 'em, 
keeps Mister Lathum's barn, told me earlier when he 
stopped fer a beer. Goss'p travels fast in a small town. 

Anyway, Paul Lathum, John's only son, was 
never afraid of elevators, ya see, he jus never got in one. It 
all started when 'is grandaddy told'm that no Lathum can 
ever step foot ina elevator. It was very bad luck to do so. 
The story is that his uncle Billy, visitin' Des Moines, got 'is 
arm broken by an elevator door. Then Paul's great aunt, 
Bessy, hypervent'lated an suffered a mild heart attack in an 
elevator up in C.R., Cedar Rapids case ya don't know. No 
Lathum had set foot into an elevator since. That was in 
71, twenty-one years ago. 

Paul, like all the Lathum men was very athletic. 
His grandaddy, his two uncles, his ole man, an' even mos 
his cousins played football, basketball, or baseball. Most 
'em played at least two sports, But Paul played four 'cludin 
his wrestlin'. Only other dif frence, though, was Paul not 
only had wit, charm, and athletic Trilty, he had smarts. He 
graduated from Central in '87 and became the first Lathum 
to go to college. 

U of I, University of Iowa, drafted him to play 
football. His freshman year he started quarterback. 



Helluva passer too. Standing nearly six an' a half feet tall 
he could throw over the line or even give 'em a jolt himself 
if he hadda scramble. 

Anyway, things went well for him the first two 
years. In 'is freshman year he was the leading passer in 
the Big Ten. Michigan beat 'em to the Roses though, 
tough break. Paul's sophmore year was good as grit too. 
They went to the Rose Bowl, but lost to Washington 31- 
28. Paul passed for nearly 300 yards that day! Too bad 
his defense played like a buncha chickens with're heads cut 
off. 

The only trouble Paul ever got was from the 
ribbin' he got from his teammates. Of course, the boy 
wouldn't ride elevators! Believe that? A grown boy, a 
man, an' he didn't ride elevators. They say they'd call 'im 
Stairwell Lathum or Paul "no thanks—I'll take the stairs" 
Lathum. They'd ask 'im if he got so fast from runnin' up 'n 
down stairs all 'is life. Yeah, they're not witty guys. Mind 
ya these all meat 'n potatoes fellas from Iowa playin' 
fooyball. They got their heads in the game, but that's "bout 
the only place. 

Sure, two more right up. 

So, as it goes. Paul's junior year comes. The pros 
are b'ginnin' to lookit Paul. He's feeling confident. Until 
the Illinois game in late October. The game never meant 
much cuz the Ulini were out of it, but the Hawkeye's were 
undefeated an' wanted to stay thaway. 

Paul rolled hard to his right, didn't see that his 
pass coverage fell apart, and bam. To this day I think he 
saw his life flash before 'is eyes. Number 99, 1 forget 'is 
name at the time, hit 'im like a truck. Jus as someun came 
right at 'em in front. 99 hit Paul square in the left thigh 
pad an the other guy hit 'im straight in 'is chest. Snap. 
Madderafact, so was a college career. Paul's knee was 
shattered like a dry chicken bone. 

But Paul had 'is smarts. 

He finished school with a B.A. in somethin', an' 
found 'imself a cute HI' honeymuffin too. She sure did 
have the smarts too! Believe it was Chicago she was from, 
some fancy suburb, rich girl, but nice enough. Only met 
'er once— she was not zacdy the tavern type! ! 

Anywho, they both finished college and Paul's lil' 
lady got 'erself a nice job in Chicago, some high-rise. She 
didn't havta start 'till January, this month, so she stayed 
here in Haddenville with Paul these last six months. Time 
went by and all went well. Fact, last June they got 
themselves engaged! What a couple they were. 

The weddin' date was set for December 25th, 
Christmas day. Lathum's have a habit of gittin' hitched on 
Christmas day. If I'm not mistaken it was Paul's birthday 
too. Anyway, thas jus slop in a hog's trough. Real nice 
weddin', all those pretty red Christmas flowers an' such. 

They went to Mexico for their honeymoon. I 
guess her parents owned some condos down in Los Bresis 
or somethin like that. 

(con't) 



THE ELEVATOR, continued 



THE CAGED HEART 



All said and done they's was married now. After 
the honeymoon they hadn't decided where to move. 
Although, since Paul's lil* lady got 'erself a job in Chicago, 
they thought they'd move over there. Since that was the 
case, she went to her parents house two weeks ago to get 
ready for work. 

Without 'er knowin' it Paul and his father, the 
most successful farmer in these parts, put a down payment 
on a lil' house in those suburbs. Paul drove up there on 'is 
wife's first day at work to surprise 'er. 

This is the part I'm lil' unsure "bout. Many stories 
goin' 'round, but I think this tout what happens. 

Paul, ya see, called 'is wife from the lobby cuz he 
didn't know where she worked in the buildin'. His wife 
said 'er office was all the way up to the thirty-fifth floor an' 
to come on up. 

Well to make a long story short, I picked this up 
from the gas station on Main, they carry the Chicago 
Tribune. 

Yessir, read the headline . . . 

"Women killed in freak elevator accident" 
"Police say it fell 35 floors!!!" 

Guess she wondered what was takin' 'im so long. . 
Guess she thought he thought she'd go down an' 



meet im 



All this while he was Tx>ut twenty floors up . . on 



the stairs. 



Humm . . ya sure . . two more Buds . . . fine 



SEASONAL FANCLUB 



David Tieman 



I have a second grade relationship 

With a camouflaged cat 

That plays slide trombone 

For the fireflies 

Of midnight 

That are calmly seduced 

By his exotic, 

Prarie~wandering melodies 

While silently flickering 

Their cigarette lighters 



Marie Cecily 

THERE IS ONE TO WHOM MY HEART BELONGS, 

WHO'S HEART I CAN NOT HOLD. 

ANOTHER KEEPS THE KEY I DESIRE, 

KNOWING THE LOCK GROWS OLD. 

BUT PATIENTLY I AWAIT THE DAY 

ON WHICH THE LOCK BREAKS FREE. 

TILL THEN MY HEART BELONGS TO THE ONE 

WHOSE LOVE I LONG TO BE. 

THE PAINTER/GARDENER 
David Tieman 

Medication 

Spraypainting rebellious messages 
On the surface of his inhibitions 
That vandalize his mentality 
With coats of orange and green 

Alcoholic ivy 

Climbing the walls of his intelligence 

And stubbornly weaving its tentacles 

Around his dying sanity 

As I drive 

His paint-thinning 

And weed-killing 

Cadillac 

IF I COULD CHOOSE TO HAVE 

Steev Custer 

If I could choose to have 
multiple-personalities, I would. 

I could switch from a man to 
a boy, run through the streets 
and play. 

But when I grew tired, 

I could be Grandpa, lounging in 
a hammock underneath the 
apple tree. 



And when I awoke, 
I would be anyone, or maybe 
everyone. 

And I would never be alone. 



-5- 



COME PLAY 

Linda Steger 



A NORMAL KIND OF TRIP 



Mark Darwyn 



Come play 

your harmonica for me 

And let me listen to the sound 

of soul 

The notes floating to the ceiling 
bouncing, seeking freedom 

Come play and read to me 

Your words that travel 

in straight lines off each page 

Your words dance around me 
and I clap silently with glee 

Like a child 

chosen, centered inside a crowd of friends 

Come play 

and sit or walk or 

let's run 

and take the wind by the hand 

swinging it around and around 
letting it go 
as I let go when you 
come play 

I LOOKED AROUND 

LaDonna Hite 

I looked around to find something that would remind me 
of you; all I found was the weight I lost worrying. 



Moving toward me in 

the cold, vast night, 

a pair of white round lights 

shine into my eyes 

uninvited. 

What speeds this person 
toward me I know for certain, 
for the miracles of technology 
are nothing if not predictable. 

Why is he out tonight? 
(It could even be a she, not 
a he.) Or maybe a group of 
people, all in unison, are shining 
their bright twin lights at me, 
and not thinking twice about it. 

In times past when a stranger passed 

upon a road it was an event. 

The two figures would discover each other's 

shape upon the horizon, take time 

to contemplate the other's 

identity and unique humanity. 

Finally contact would occur. 

Just then my thoughts 

are disrupted. 

The car rushes past 

a dark blur, the cold metal 

box containing a mystery which 

I will not have the chance 

to discover again. It will remain 

a faceless metal box forevermore. 



ALL THE SILICONE SNOW HAS 



Donica Rampa 



All the silicone snow has 
Settled to the bottom of my 
tiny glass enclosure 
And I, 

curl up in my 
protective fetal position, 
still waiting for someone 
to come and shake me up. 



-6- 



•PUT DOWN THE GUN!* 



THIS LAST CARESS 



Tricia Concaildi 

"Put down the gun!" 

Nothing. 

"Damnit David, put it down!" 

Nothing. 

"Oh please, please! I'm so sorry I yelled at you! I'm just 

so scared. I'm so sorry! Please, please put it down 

David!" 

She sobs now. 

He moves closer to her. The .38 is now staring her in the 

face. 

It moves slowly across her face; staring first into the left 

eye, and then into the right. 

She trembles uncontrollably. 

His hand begins to quiver. 

His eyes are black holes. 

What does he see? 

One hand grips her throat. 

She begins to wheeze and struggle for air. 

A sudden strength comes from her insides. 

With the last of her mustered strength she breaks his hold, 

and throws him backwards onto the floor. 

Getthegungetthegungetthegun, is all she hears. 

She lunges. 

She's got it! 

BOOM BOOM BOOMBOOMBOOMBOOM! 

She giggles uncontrollably, 

shaking in her laughter. 

"Gotcha!" 

She puts the gun down 

and walks out smiling, 

wiping his blood from her face. 



I MISS YOU 
LyubovMir 

I thought I saw you today. 

I almost said hi; 

Then I realized it couldn't be you. 
I wish you were here. 

Letters are one thing 
And phone calls are another 
But the truth is, I miss you. 
I know I'll see you again 

Sometime 
But I thought I saw you today 
And I miss you more. 



Christian Bernal 

This last caress 

gentle 

dwelling in the mind 

A passive emotion 

before rest 

silence in abundance 
senses tingling 
awakening for the dream 

a quick 
spinal shiver 
before birth 

EATING AMERICANA 

Justin Gale 

By now 

icare 

Not 

reverence dismayed 

Nintendo revered 

Doritos consumed 

fat— lazy~son~of 

an american 

cares 

Not 

by now 

CHIPPING AWAY 
Shelly Partilla 

Chipping away at my writer's 
Block of ice, 

I searched for signifigance 
Somewhere underneath. 
There's no excuse for my blank mind- 
But thriugh a long, effortless 

process of procrastination, 
I've managed to waste time 
Chipping when it should be 

melting. 
How many hours must I spend 
Warming up 
To get an "A" on my thoughts? 



-7- 



THE INTRICACY OF MY LACE CURTAINS 

Jennifer Jay 

The intricacy of my lace curtains 

Makes me think of a cell 
Vacuoles Ribosomes Centrioles 
In a bag of Cytoplasm 
Swaying by my window 
With a wagging Flagella thread 
Blown by the floor vent's breath. 

"976" 

Jeff Hicks 

She doesn't walk the streetcorners 
Looking for a John 
She receives a phone call 
From a doctor, lawyer or don 

She never has to meet them 
Or dress uo for the oart 
She only has to talk dirty 
And when to stop and start 

They quickly dial her number 
And ask if she is there 
They need some satisfaction 
And their desires to bear 

She breaks out the Naugahyde straps 
The leather whips and chains 
"Have you been a naughty boy?" she asks 
"Shall I inflict some pain?" 

All her words are passion 
All her sounds are pain 
She's playing slave and master 
For pure financial gain 

Three dollars the first minute 
A buck-fifty after that 
The callers phonebill's skyrocket 
It's all money in her hat 

She ends a conversation 
And gives her whip a crack 
They all thank her profusely 
She knows that they'll call back 

**writers note: I have never called, I REPEAT, I have 
never called one of these "services" & I only got this idea 
from seeing one of their really bad ads on Channel 9 
around midnight!** 



WEEDLINGS 

R. Harrison Smith 

Spiked green monsters 
Upon my lawn 
Must feverishly breed 
From dusk until dawn. 

When sunlight arrives, 
In battle I stand, 
To reduce this enemy 
By force of hand. 

As night approaches, 
My strength must mass 
For the next day's skirmish 
With newborn crabgrass. 

I BROUGHT YOU A BROKEN ARROW 

Steev Custer 

I brought you a broken arrow, 
in hopes it would prove I could 
not be stopped. 

I brought you a clock with a crack 

in it's face, 

to show that our time would not 

cease 

And I brought you my broken self, 
to show that I'd do good for you. 

You told me to forget my gifts, 
which were useless and pathetic. 
So I give you my depression, 
The only unbroken thing I own. 

YESTERDAY 

LaDonna Hite 

YESTERDAY I WAS IN MY RIGHT MIND, 

TODAY I HAD MY RIGHT MIND, 

TOMORROW I HOPEFULLY WILL KEEP MY RIGHT 

MIND, 

IN THE PAST I HAD A CHILD'S MIND, 

IN THE PRESENT I HAVE AN ADULT MIND, 

IN THE FUTURE I HOPE TO HAVE NO MIND AT 

ALL. 



-8- 



IN THE COURTYARD 

Lyubov Mir 

I don't want to go outside today. 
But the sky is so blue 

and the air is so clear 
See the grass waving and the leaves 

whispering, "Come out, come out!" 

I don't want to go into the cold. 
But the sun will warm you 

and the breeze will comfort you 
The trees will talk with you 

and the clouds will sing with you 

"Come out," they say 

And so I come. 

ODE TO A LATE FRIEND 

Brent Senholtz 

Ere the hair has settled 
All about her breast 
Like a fawn in a nettle 
She lies in rest 
Her body posed in the metal 
A brazen gallant chest 
Her face a rose's petal 
A lonesome grave her rest 
Her life while hard to cope 
Made of dreams in skies above 
She always searches fof hope 
Always searching for love 

A REOCCURING DREAM 

David Tieman 

In the bloated hallways 

Of my kindergarten nightmares 

I pant 

Enduring weeks 

Of nicotine—free nerves 

On the junior high floor 

Running through the tornado people 

Who bow to the flapping lockers, 

Slamming the diamond-laced classroom doors 

Upon the deafening metallic clatter, 

And hiding breathlessly 

Behind the stacks of miniature boxes 

Away fromthe insane alcoholic secretary 

Finding in the end 

That the only relief 

From hyperventilation 

Is electrocution in the blackened dungeon 

Where the janitors dwell 



VINEGAR FUMES ROLL THROUGH MY NOSE 

Jennifer Jay 

Vinegar fumes roll through my nose 

And up to my eyes 

Only to make them turn in my head. 

As I loll in the dust 
I pour steamy water 
And add a drop of dye. 

The slightest peach shade 

Drop. .. 

Now darker orange clouds 

Fall to the bottom 

Drop. . . 

Drop . . . Done. 

Turn to a red 

Plunk in the sun 

Red to scarlet 

Scarlet to plum 

With spoon in hand 

Scoop up the moon 

Roll it into bestial blue 

Dust in my nails 

Chill in my chest 

Gather up my colored dye 

Walking backwards through the field 

I see a star shake in the Easter Egg sky. 

SIPPING SWEET TEA 

Shelly Partilla 

Sipping sweet tea 

From sumptous bone china, 

You told me you loved me 

And I couldn't resist 

Another sugar cube. 

Tossing chocolates 

Into my gaping mouth, 

I tried to pretend I didn't hear you 

And I hoped maybe you'd forget 

(But I'd never been in love before 

And I didn't know you don't forget). 

I tried to talk about the weather 

And my ailing grandmother 

But you kept looking at me 

Between gulps 

And finally, I let loose 

And smiled. 



-9- 






RUSHED AROUND A CORNER 

Donica Rampa 



PIGGY BANK 

Laura Offrink 



I rushed around a corner 
and collided with myself 
How've you been? I asked 
Not too bad, was the reply 
Then I left, before 
too many questions 
were asked 
That I didn't want to answer 

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST 

MarkDarwyn 

Swat the fly, 
bat the bug, 
fry the ant with 
a magnifying glass. 

Raid the bee, 

throw a caterpillar 

and a lit pack of firecrackers 

into a bucket 

and see what happens. 

Shoot the rabbit, 

run over the squirrel, 

but watch out for that skunk. 

Hunt the deer, 
drink some beer, 
and shoot the bull 
like all good studs do. 
Kill the beast and 
take the tusk. 

Don't forget to 

bash in the brains of those little baby seals. 

But beat, do not slash. 

Cut up pelts don't bring good money. 

Man, I'm broke. I need 
some money. Wait That 
skinny guy over there. No one 
around, and I" ve got my knife . . . 



CLING CLANG 
Sounds my change 

On the bottom 

Of my piggy bank 

CRASH BANG 

Sounds it again 

As the hammer 

Shatters it 

I couldn't 

Spend it wisely 

Or invest it 

In something 

Momentary 

Happiness 

Is all a child 

Ever needs 

So children 

Break Piggy 

And take your pennies 

To the store 

Since happiness 

Cannot be bought 

What are we 

Saving pennies 

For? 

I KEEP EMPTIES 

Linda Steger 

An empty perfume bottle, a gift, gone 
lays sideways like a woman reclines on a chaise. 
The fragrance recalls for me the embraces, 
the lingering kisses, the breath that breathed 
life into me. 

I keep empties. 
For sad days. 
For smiles. 
For insight . . . 

that life is not made of empty spaces 
rather it is made of 

spaces that have been made empty. 



-10- 



WHAT DEPENDS SO MUCH OH A RED WHEEL- 
BARROW? 

Jennifer Jay 

What depends so much on a Red Wheelbarrow? 
Can't really say, Will. 
But so much does depend 
On Red Puddle Jumpers. 

They're cold savers 
Thermolite warm 
Icegrippers 
Snow slippers 
Winter worn 
DuPont born. 

They're fire engine red 
Attention getters 
Made in mold 
34 bucks-sold! 
Snowball splitters 
Feetsy sitters. 

So much depends upon Red Puddle Jumpers. 

FOR YOU, MY FRIEND 

Lyubov Mir 

I know your hurt, I know your pain, 

I see it on your face. 

I know it's hard to think those thoughts 

Could ever be replaced. 

Just know I care, that I'm concerned 

I'm here for you, my friend. 

So if you want a hand or not 

111 see you through the end. 

It tears me up as well, you know, 
To see you feel this way. 
I wish I knew what I could do 
To chase your hurt away. 
So tell me what to do or say 
To make your shadows flee. 
Ill help you to bring back the light 
That's brought such joy to me. 



CHILD'S INNOCENCE 

Marie Cecily 

Bom into this world anew, 

Untouched by wrongful prejudice, 

A child's heart stays true. 

As yet unmarked by sin, 

They almost seem to glow 

From the innocence that burns within. 

Unaware of violence that rends the heart in two, 

The child holds the innocence 

Until their heart bleeds too. 

All those thoughts lead us to a task 

That is often filled with woe, 

For some say that we should ask, 

"Where did all the innocence go?" 

SOLITUDE 

Janine Passehl 

i drive through those streets 

and i'm lonely as ever 

people all around 

these ties i want to sever 

its these people i grew up knowing 

playing, laughing, loving, growing 

people i can't tolerate now 

i have to get away 

i've got to find some solitude 
away from everybody 
i fear that if i stay much longer 
they will drive me crazy 
they know not what's important 
live only for appearances 
there must be something better 
i have to disappear 

take me to the city 
where nobody knows your name 
where in each person's circle 
lives don't have to change 
ill just be who i want to be 
no charades and no pretend 
it's days like now i wish solitude 
be my only friend 



-11- 



LISA 

Linda Steger 

Lisa fingered the mystic sheers open an inch. 
"Do you hate me?" 

Michael looked up from the floor at the naked 
silhouette under Lisa's white summer dress. Her form is 
flawless. "Yes, I hate you." 

"Then I hate you for hating me." Letting go of 
the sheer, she smoothed her dress over her tummy. "You 
promised you wouldn't hate me. That first day we made 
love, you promised to love me forever." 

"And I will. Forever. And then for some time 
after that date. I don't know any other way of life, except 
to love you." 

Michael leaned his frame against the cushion of 
the Lazy Boy, the weight on his shoulders feeling heavier 
by the minute. 

"I never told you I wouldn't hate you though. I 
merely promised to love." 

"We haven't much time." Lisa walked over to 
him. "I thought we could spend the last hour in silence." 

"Like the silent movies you love to watch. You 
want to replay us next week, next month. . . ," he was 
going on in pity. 

"For our next lifetime." Her eyes said she 
understood. "I'll retell it to you. But now let's make the 
movie, and not worry about when or why or how or - 
details. I hate details when I'm in love." She touched his 
hand. 

Wrapping his fingers around hers, he stood. 
Taking her up into his arms, he walked her into the 
bedroom ~ their room — they made out of the den in his 
apartment. It was unused, unneeded before she entered his 
life. He never asked why she didn't want to use his bed, in 
his room. But he understood now. After she was gone, 
she would really never leave. I f she shared his bed, her 
scent would be in his sheets, in his mattress, in his dreams 
— smothering him. At least this way he had a chance. 

Setting her on the bed, she promised someone 
would take the bed down and remove it tomorrow. 

Silently, Michael touched her lips with his finger 
tips and then his lips, thinking — not even one day to 
reminisce. She showed no mercy. 



ONLY THE SKY 

Lyubov Mir 

I want to be outside 
Even though it is cold 

and windy 

and raining 

I need to know something shares my feelings 
Even if it is only the sky. 
So I walk outside 

and let the wind chill me 

and the rain fall on me 
And I share my loneliness 
With the gray sky. 

UNENDING DETENTION 

Justin Gale 

HEY MOM 

TRIP TO WAS FUN 

NOT FUN FOR THEM THOUGH 

HEY MOM 

WHEN DO THEY GET TO 

GO HOME 

I HAVE MY VICES 

Steev Custer 

I have my vices. 
I have my hopes, and none 
of your icy demands can 
kill them. 

I have flowers for friends. 
They've been one with the soil 
for so long that their erect 
posture is no longer a 
necessity, but a pleasure. 

I have a poisoned heart, 
Much like the lost & lonely, 
Starts to feel better, 
and is sanctified. 
And 
Again 
Has 
Died, 
but smile for me. 
for solitude has an expensive 
price, so does having friends. 



-12- 



TED-TED 



LITTLE BUDS ARE POPPING OUT, continued 



Jennifer Jay 

I see you lookin' at me 

And me looking out your eye. 

The spiderweb crack 

Hangs like a halo 

Above the eye me. 

It' s the only eye, 

Other was torn out. 

I meant to keep it 

Ugh! I've kissed you a million times 
And now your little red tongue (pilth) 
Is tough and dry. 
Your nose is peeling 
And the scar on your chest is white. 
With green fraying threads down your leg. 
Two foot. Four stryofoam bag, 
C'mere and kiss me again! 

SNOWFLAKE 

Laura Offrink 

Falling softly 

From the cold winter sky 

I drift on wind currents 

And float softly by 

Snowflake I am 

Six sides have I 

Riding on air 

A good life is mine 

Gravity is my friend 

A snowdrift is my goal 

Locating it? 

Too late to know 

As I near it 

The wind pushes me past 

My dream is foiled 

I am melting too fast 

LITTLE BUDS ARE POPPING OUT 

Jennifer Jay 

Little buds are popping out 
On the plum tree and 
On the oak. Yet 
The frosted over 
Clumps of filth 
Still lie unmelted in the street 
(con't) 



Spring's not a bad season. 
But it leads on to summer. 
I always felt in those hot months 
That I should be happy- 
It seems the common theme. 
But I really don't like beaches 
Or coconut tanning oil 
Sunglasses big as goggles 
Blinding sun 
Mosquitoes 
Sticky, smelly bodies 
So hot you don't want to move 
Dizziness 
Fatigue 

A thermo-blast inside a closed car 
Mostly just that feeling 
That summer wants me to be happy. 
Or maybe its the beer commercials 
That make me think I'm missing a good thing. 

CONTORTION 

Christian Bernal 
Contortion 
disgusting sensuality 
Drooling 
from the mouth of the beast 

overwhelming sensations 
a blurring kaleidoscope 
of perverse excitement 
whisping through you 

Clenched teeth 
imprisoning screams 
from artistic self-mutilation 
wide-eyed in the light 



-13- 



MY FRIEND LEFT ME 

Marie Cecily 

My friend left me 

One beautiful sunny day. 

A look, and I knew he was gone. 

But I wasn't alone, 

For he was still there, 

Standing in the very same place. 

He left me for what was right, 

For what was meant to be. 

And I'll never mourn the day 

My friend disappeared, 

Because he became my love. 

A DATE WITH DESTINY 

Shelly PartiUa 

We bought the lunch buffet at Rax 
And stayed for dinner, talking 
Of how shy we both were 
When it came to relationships. 
We tossed around 
Magnificent stories of romantic 

escapades(fantasies really) 
And I recited the 42 dream dates 
I had documented in pages of my journal 
Some of them were quite out-landish-- 
Like kissing while standing on our heads— 
And some were not 
Like kissing at midnight in a snowfall 
And you discovered my fetish 
With kissing and snow. 
You promised right then and there 
That you would kiss me in the snow. 
Wouldn't you know that this year, 
We're expected to have a mild winter. 

THE VOICES FADE 

Lyubov Mir 

It's amazing how when you walk by yourself 

After you reach a certain point 

You can't hear voices anymore. 

Only the wind blowing by. 

Nothing but a far-off echo 

Of laughter and love. 

Only the clouds in your eyes 

And the wind blowing by. 



A SKY OF SCENES 

Frank Sanchez 

As the tides burst into song 

Their vaporous tunes, 

The misty spray for which my spirit longs, 

My naked body consumes. 

This foreign sea, a liquid gem, 
Replacing obscene routines 
Ablaze with change, from which stems 
A sea of life, a sky of scenes. 

Aqua seethes, green it breathes, 

The art of life alive. 

My soul seems to dream itself a gull, 

Harmonizing in stride with the ever moving tide for which 

it 

Strives to be. 

THE AUDITION 

Tricia Concaildi 
The Audition. 

Trembling and shaking 

Memory failing 

Dizzineess overwhelms. 

Debating 

Questioning 

Hoping 

Praying. 

Bright lights staring down, 
Blank faces 
Sweat dripping 
footsteps echoing. 

Quiet. 

Waiting to begin 
Looking for a signal 
Taking a deep breath 

Blurting out the words 
The tune escapes 

Weeks, months of hard work 

for a few terrified moments on the stage. 

Awful! Terrible! 

Tears everywhere. 

Hopelessnes. 

Not a word from the blank faces. 

Not even a thank you. 

Despair. 



-14- 



WHEN ELEPHANTS DANCE 

R. Harrison Smith 

I am like a mouse, 
Small, swift, and frail. 
To others of great size, 
I'm bullied beyond avail. 

To oppose these evil forces 
By standing firm to fight, 
I'd surely lose the batUe 
Being hurt by vicious might 

Appealing to my resources 
To survive this present term, 
The ones who came to help me 
Had strengths of pachyderms. 

They told me not to worry, 
Leave nothing more to chance, 
To bring these foes inside their circle 
And watch the elephants dance. 

Following their instruction, 
Everything they said was true. 
They danced upon my problems, 
Reducing them to goo. 

CIRCLES 

Kevin Olchawa 

. . . you use me 

You say you love me 

As a friend; 

Then you fall in love with him 

You say you love me 

As a friend; 

Then you ignore me 

You say you love me 

As a friend; 

Then you argue with him 

You say you love me 

As a friend; 

Then you cry to me 

You say you love me 

As a friend; 

Then you wish he were more like me 

You say you love me 

As a friend; 

Then you leave him 

You say you love me 

As a friend; 

Then you say you wish you could find someone like me 

You say you love me 

As a friend; 

Then. . . 



IMPRISONMENT 

David Tieman 

Browse through my picture album. 
Window-shop through my childhood. 
Smile wide with your arms 
And cling to Daffy Duck with me 
Tightly, 
Sincerely- 
Imagining the fuzzy warmth I felt 
Yesterday-- 

Now— 

Join me in sliding into that damn yellow suit 
That I wore so proudly, 
But innocently 
On picture day 
And listen to my words- 
Close it! 
As I do 

Knowing that the sweet girl 
On the final page 
Still claws at the cellophane cover. 



LISTENING TO THE QUIET 



Christian Bemal 



icy silver morning 
sadness rises early 
yawns of awkwardness 
cloud my head 

innocent reflections 
on my spectacle glass 
uneventful in the still, 
frozen morning 

growling bleakness 
echoing in the empty outside 
far away 
in the closing distance 

listening to the quiet 
burn 



-15- 



THIRD GRADE LOVERS 



DESPITE ALL THE PAIN AND SUFFERING 



Shelly Partilla 

You watched me 

Catching snowflakes on my tongue 

After the first big snowfall 

And you tried to build the biggest 

Snowman on the block 

To impress me. 

You didn't know I watched you too~ 

Or mayde you did— but I didn't care 

Because I wanted you to know 

I loved you. 
We spent the afternoon together- 
You building snow forts in your 

yard 
And me making angels in mine. 
But never did we speak 
And never did we glance 
But from corners of our eyes. 
And after we ravished the 

virgin snow, 
We went inside our respective 

homes 
Marveling at our first taste of 

love. 

GRAVEYARD BUNNY 

David Tieman 

Graveyard bunny 

Pink and passionate 

Roams the fields of chipped stone 

Seducing the ivory faces 

Of the underworld poets 

Alone. 

Her and nature 

Sharing beds 

With men of the curving gravel roads 

A one night stand 

In death's trance 

And she falls in love with the unknown. 



Christian Bemal 

The king was lonely 

perfumed mists ran through his chamber. 

he was dead 

inside 

and his eyes were solemn 

Wild parrots of the kingdom 

swam below. 

they were laughing 

in the peach grass 

finding shade under the sweets tree. 

A silent path 

snaked through the woods 

Come with me 

she said. 

How do I know you will not kill me 

I questioned 

This is your dream 

she replied 

So we ran over the hill 

to where nothingness grew, 

its really quite a pleasing aroma. 

And the queen sat by the ocean 

naked 

on the rocks. 

conversing with the waves 

a festival of tiny crabs 

were swarming at her feet. 

Hello, you know me 

I looked 

she was blind 

milky gems licked my nipples 

I felt her leg 

and ran to the hut 

I had lost my clothes 

and needed to sleep 

but it was tea time 

and the grey hounds would be coming soon 

so the old man said 



he danced out the door 

and down the shore 

(crazy old man) 

and as I looked over my shoulder 

I woke up. 



•16- 



ITS NOT HIM 

Lyubov Mir 

It's not him that I'm still in love with 
It's the thought of being in love. 
It's not that I still want him 
It's just that I can't give it up. 

Despite that I still think about him 
It's not him I see in my dreams 
And it's true I can live without him 
However it sounds or seems. 

It's not him that I keep watching 
I just need somebody to see. 
It's not us I keep imagining 
I just need somebody with me. 

There's nothing to kill this feeling 
Except for the passage of time. 
There's nothing to stop this torture 
Cause all of it's in my mind. 

It's not that I still love him 
Though I know what you're going to say 
It's just the thought of rjoi being in love 
That's making me hurt this way. 

PASSION SWIRLED AND WRITHED 

Jennifer Jay 

Pasiion swirled and writhed 
Coiled around her body 
And when she inhaled 
She took in her passion. 

As she exhaled 
Their desires clashed 
In the milky darkness 
That came to stink of bodies. 

Remember that smell, Boy? 
It's been quite a few weeks 
Since I've had the pleasure 
Of experiencing sweat 
breath skin sex 
That musty odor lingering 
Like cigarette smoke. 
Fumes of passion. 

Now all I smell in this room 
Is lemon furniture polish- 
Clean in a filmy way. 



THE LEAVES 

Marie Cecily 

Quietly, one-by-one, they fall, 
Whispering the change of season 
Blanketing the dying earth. 
Each alone, unique, 
With its own story to tell. 
Together heralding winter 
In all it's violent glory. 
Falling as tears from one 
Who has lost the strength 
To fight, keep up, survive. 
The earth must dry them, 
Save their remnants, 
Their hopes, dreams, memories. 
So they can come again, 
Be reborn through the next line 
And live on in those left behind. 

IT HAS BEEN SEVERAL YEARS 

Jonathan Wolff 

It has been several years 

since I took up my wanderings. 
I left with doubt burning 

like acid on ice in my brain. 
Tortured tears! 
Frustrated fury! 
Where have I been? 

where will I go? 
Where am I now? 

God, how I have changed 

this world is so deranged 
But will I leave my mark 

upon it? 
Might I lay in my bath 

alone and peaceful 
To die a thousand dreams? 
You know nothing! 

And so on the fifth day 

I came upon the house of doubt 
Naked children lay about, 

breathless and battered. 
These are my former victims 

of stupidity. 
In ignorance 

they lay tattered. 
What lies within this great palace? 
I tell you this: 

in it you are alone. 

(con't) 



-17- 



IT HAS BEEN SEVERAL YEARS, continued 

I tripped the wall 

and scaled the sea 
And found that I know 

nothing. 

Then I saw what I had 

only heard about in tales of old. 
Bold and blue, 

slick and deceiving, 
There it lay at my feet. 
How easy it would be 

to fall and drown in it 
As so many have done before. 
This, my friends, is the 

sea of ignorance. 

I am now lost 

but I know I must cross. 
Watch the sweat slide 

down the skin of a young girl. 
Follow it, 

see where it goes. 
This is something which knows 

as much as we do. 

It was on the third day 

of my second year of travels 
That I came into the third 

continuum of being. 
It was there I passed 

a man and spoke to him. 
"I have transversed the sea of 

ignorance," I whispered, 
"I am all knowing." 
He grinned 

and told me this: 
"You know you want to, 

not what is right. 
"I'm centuries old and rotted, 

you have seen no light. 
"You wish to see a human being, 

that I know you do, 
"And so a being you are seeing, 

just what you want to. 
"You are alone in your life: 
"What is wisdom to you 

is nothing to others." 
With that, he was gone. 
I had been on my own trip 

all along . . . 

Hellfire! 
Brimstone 

burning 



Old graves 

turning 
Horrid thoughts 

churning. 
An ignorant man 

claims wisdom, 
A wise man 

is learning. 

My thoughts now turned 

since I have learned 
That I am as ignorant 

as all the others. 
The man had been nothing 

but a scant dream 
As I drowned 

in the sea. 
Someone help me! 
True wisdom can never be bought; 

can never be learned; 

can never be achieved. 
In certainy I can say 

that it does not exist. 
It is a fool's chase 

to follow this lace. 

Oh, how my mind 

torments me! 
What have I missed that 

I was meant to see? 
It is uncrossable; 

that ignorant sea. 
I thought I could cross it, 

how stupid of me! 
I know nothing, 

my stupidity crushing 
My knowledge of my own 

lack of wisdom. 

And so, I turned and 

went North. 
It was from here I 

went forth. 

Brides maid 

soothsayed 
A young virgin 

gets laid. 
Browns tone 

lost home 
I guess I will 

always roam . . . 



■18- 



TELL ME, IS IT LOVE? 

Lyubov Mir 

When you can't stop thinking about him 
Can't stop dreaming about him 
Can't stop wishing about him 
Is it love? 

When imagine is all you do 
And wonder is all you do 
And no other thoughts come through 
Is it love? 

When a thought in the back of your mind 
Stays with you all the time 
What other words can it define? 
Is it love? 

When all you can feel are his arms around you 
And all you can hear is his voice beside you 
And all that you want is to have him by you 
Is it love? 

When just seeing him gives you a jolt 
Sharper than a lightning bolt 
That catches your breath in your throat 
Is it love? 

When all it takes is a glance 
To take away any chance 
Of thoughts beside romance 
Is it love? 

When just a glimpse can stop your heart 
And tear your reason apart 
Yet give you hope for a start 
Tell me, is it love? 

MODERN FARMER 

David Tieman 

My digital rooster 
Drowns in insomnia 
Waiting patiently 
For me to press hios buttons 
And watching me 
Confusingly read 
Several foreign books 
With red glowing eyes 
As I go bald 



TOMMOROW 

Christian Bemal 



And the gods shall weep 
(Those false preminitions 
in eartly eyes) 
And the wind shall quicken 
and rise 

pick up 

and rip through worlds 

at the speed of light 

and the hum 

shall 

return- 



IN A LONELY LIBRARY 

Steev Custer 

In a lonely library, he cries for his heart. He has the room 
to himself, and it is so much like life that he 
knows comfort. 

He divorced poetry, but has a line in his mind, a shirt 
sleeve to write on, and a pen in his back pocket. 

Those who urged him never to write are away, 
and so he escaped to a quiet place where only librarians 
can watch and wait in anticipation for a line 
to be written in their sanctuary. 

They believe. He believes, but is unsure. 

Finally, it is done. But poetry is not his suitor. He has 
married fiction. And their children are so beautiful that the 
gods are jealous. 

YOU THOUGHT I THOUGHT 
Shelly Partilla 

You thought I thought the 

world of you 
But little did you know 
I kept you in a little square 

box called "poetry file". 
You thought you were my mentor 

on the laws of love 
But you were only a victim of 

organization 
And just another name on an index card 



■19- 



LACE CURTAINS LOOK LOVELY 



SHADOWS 



Jennifer Jay 

Lace curtains look lovely 

On one of these strange winter days 

When the sky breaks blue 

And the snow stinks 

The bird-feeders become filled with water 

And a breeze blows the curtains. 

Cool breeze 

Not with a soon-to-be-spring grin 

But one with a teasing smile. 

A prelude to freezing rain 

Sleet 

Rakes 

Then sledding 

Skiing 

Snowmobiling 

Romps with my dog in the snow. 

TO THE ONE I HOLD MOST DEAR 

Marie Cecily 

To the one I hold most dear, 
Above all else, 
Closest to my heart. 

To the one who's touch I need, 
Can not do without, 
And cry out for. 

To the one who fills my mind, 
Forever teasing, taunting, 
Making me think. 

To this one I surrender 
My heart, my soul, 
My love. 



Jonathan Wolff 

Shadows 

slowly growing 
Take you 

without knowing. 
Pushing, 

reaching, stretching 
Try to 

hold on, grasping. 
Reality 

changing, bending 
Insanity 

sofUy taking 
You away. 

day by day 

night by night 

plight by plight 

nothing's right 

dead end light 

loss of sight 

everything's tight 

plight by light 

dead end tight 

everything's all right 
Insane night. 

A BEAUTIFUL LIQUID 

David Tieman 

A beautiful liquid 

I became today 

Dripping down through the floorboards 

Into the haunted basement 

Where my guitar bleeds 

And the chandeliers respect 

Those melted few 

That he in scattered puddles 

Across the shiny glass floor 

Of this lower heaven 



C 



-20- 



BETHLEHEM 

Linda Steger 

I turn off the car engine halfway up the driveway. 
I don't want to wake up my husband. Or I don't want to 
come home. I'm not sure which. Regardless, my hand 
keeps the routine, pulling the silver handle to open the 
door. 

The night is unprotected; creatures stir, villians 
pounce. A dog barks, barks, barks so I look up at the 
moon. The jester's face isn't full yet. Its pale illumination 
watches my figure below. Listening, I wait. 

Nothing. 

No one creeps around at night in this southern 
town without street lights. These country folks sit right in 
front of lights of TV sets, or perhaps as statistics say, beat 
litde boys and girls. Or some other abuse listed in the Old 
Testament from which they read once a week. The fact is 
we"ll all be dead in a hundred years and another crop of 
society will sow its seeds. I look around in the deathly 
silence. Has this town waited to die? 

I live just a pasture after the cow farm but before 
the yellow farm house on the curve. You can't miss us. 
The churn is within walking distance. Pastor Kainn has 
two daughters, Jessica and Maggie. They sing every 
Sunday. Unfortunately, their high voices escape between 
the transoms of stained glass. Sermons declare only holy, 
gentle people live in this town tventy miles off the 
interstate. 

In two years nothing exciting has happened 
except little Ben Wesley hung his sister's cat at the Fourth 
of July picnic. Not much else except our flag pole got 
stolen and a rat drowned in our swimming pool. My 
husband insists this is a friendly country town where you 
can leave your doors unlocked at night while your mind 
drifts off with the clouds. But I know better. 

My husband calls them coincidences. "You think 
people are people everywhere. That it all sucks. But it 
isn't so bad here. These people are closer to God's earth 
and God's wrath." 

While his lips moved, I studied my penny ante, 
corporate thief of pencils, pens and note pads, turned small 
town history teacher. He continued to rationalize his way 
closer to redemption. I am not any better. My underwear 
is not pristine but I do not hang it out like other women 
cackling in back yards in a direct line of bellowing clothes 
lines full of white and crimson clothes. Mine goes in my 
dryer where it is privately blasted with hot air. 

Last Sunday when I left on business, I asked if we 
could move back to the city. My huband told me the city 
was too corrupt for him. He grew up in a town like this. 
He had come back home he said. I agreed. He always 
reminded me of a little boy with his school books slung 
over his back. I cannot ask him to give up his childhood if 
it's his only treasure. 



Before I enter the house, I rest in silence. No 
farm tractors roar, no pickup trucks charge under horse- 
power, no little farm boys with sling shots snap rocks at 
my garage windows. I face the moon. It's barren yet rich 
with reflections of light What does its light whisper to me 
in the darkness? 

I sit. 

The cold cement step is like a block of ice under 
me. The dead dampness rises through my body and I 
shiver. I look around again. No one. Not even crickets 
yet this year, too early. Not even lovers in parked cars, too 
easy. 

On other nights I've sat on the porch to get away 
from the caged feelings. Sometimes I've seen Jessica Kain 
letting her boyfriend in the window just past midnight 
This summer they'll marry. She's sixteen, he is a mature 
twenty—yes! -he told me one day as he watched me carry 
in groceries. I nodded at him and locked the door behind 
me. The air conditioning, bought the second day we 
moved in, wet my face. I hear other folks stick their heads 
in freezers for seconds at a time. 

The screen door hinges softly moan as I wake its 
rest. My husband alwaya leaves our doors unlocked. I 
tiptoe in with the moonlight following through the living 
room windows. I smile at its boldness radiating through 
the sheers. 

The bedroom door is open wide. I'll chance a 
peek before making a cup of tea to sedate my nerves and 
news. Coming around the door frame, I note the open 
window welcoming mischevious thieves. The back of my 
husband facing me is like the dark side of the moon. In a 
moment he'll roll onto his back and resume snoring like a 
great white whale. My husband is the saint of the local 
high school. Him, they like. Gave him a best teacher's 
award last summer. I want to believe in his small town 
fantasy. I want to believe this is somewhere God chose to 
live on the seventh day. And truly, I want to believe the 
townspeople do good because it feels good. 

He rolls on his back. I see someone lying next to 
him. At first I think it's the moonlight playing tricks. But 
brown hair swirls along the white pillow case. Looking 
harder I see it's Jessica who lets her boyfriend in through 
her window. This time, she has been let in. 

I go to fix myself some tea, waiting for Jessica to 
leave. I imagine it will have to be pretty soon, my 
scheduled arrival was just before my husband heads for his 
first history class. Teaching can be so tiresome. 

I sigh. 

Before last week, I might have burned the house 
down after he tapped his horn for goodbye. As an alibi I'd 
mention Mrs. Dudley's cow nibbled our grass again. I'd 
insist I forgot about the lantern I lit, testing it for vacation 
to the Rockies. He'd believe the accident of the drought, 
the grass, the wild fire. 

(con't) 



-21- 



BETHLEHEM, continued 

I finish my tea. Wash my cup. Reverse my steps. 
Go back into the night and set the car in neutral to coast 
backwards. No one hears me. Their faith insists no one is 
out during the witching hour. I'll head for a ride in the city 
and be back when I'm expected. I wouldn't want to wake 
up this little town of Bethlehem. 

Besides, sometimes people have to wake up on 
their own. It's like Preacher Kainn screaming until the 
jugular plumps to a red line along his neck during Sunday 
sermons. Only those who know understand human nature. 

It's okay, I can wait. 

I return under the strength of the sun. The front 
door is wide open. I suspect my husband is having his 
second cup of coffee at the kitchen table. How can I tell 
him I'm not the same person who left a week ago? Some- 
how, it's all right that he has reversed too. People do that 
It's natural. But he won't understand, nor accept. He'll 
deny. 

"Hi," I kiss his forehead, setting the donuts to his 
right. "You know Mrs. Campbell has to be watched every 
time I go into that store. She charged me $2.15 and gave 
me 49 cents in change." 

"She's dyslexic," he repeats as he has the other ten 
times I've told him about being robbed. 

"Maybe she's an expert with slight of hand." 

"Hi," he smiles, ignoring my statement. He 
slowly pours me a cup. "I was hoping to take the day off 
but I had an exam planned." 

"I understand," I want to ask if Jessica is going to 
get an " A"~ all that extra credit. Instead I ask, "Anything 
happen while I was in Detroit?" 

"Nope," he slowly says scrubbing a spot off the 
table. I smile thinking he changed the sheets, too. How 
thoughtful. 

Without warning, something inside of me raises a 
sword and wishes to slay this man. Inside, two persons 
wrestle, one uses words, one uses physical harm. I give in 
to the words. 

"Until I was eighteen, I lived in Whitneyville. No 
more than 500 neighbors," I start. "We didn't publish a 
phone book. By the time I was in fourth grade I knew 
everyone. When I was twelve, I was molested." 

"Jesus Christ!" he moans. "You never told me!" 

"I didn't remember until this last week when I 
stopped to see Mom on my way home from the conven- 
tion." I offer, the act of steadiness gluing me together. "I 
think it was living in this town for two years that dug up 
the dead." 

"I'm sorry." 

"So am I." I look at my hands trembling and no 
one reaching to stop them. "When I came home last night, 
I saw Jessica." The words fell flat on the table top. "I hate 
you for being so pious and so weak." 



He didn't move. It was as if I took that sword in 
my mind, made it real, and sliced off his arms. Surprise. 
He expected to be knighted upon my return, instead . . . 

"I'm leaving tonight," I say. 

"We can . . ." 

Can I tell him how I've been a hollow woman, 
spiritually dead and emotionally running by remote 
control? "This isn't CameloL Life isn't a dream. You 
chose to deal with your awakening in one way, I'm 
choosing different. " I wash the same cup I rinsed earlier. 
I want to cry, fall to the floor and let him carry me to 
safety. But that's a fairy tale. 

"You're in shock," he set his dirty cup in the sink. 
"We can talk about this when I get home. I'll try and cut 
my last class." 

" I gave you my decision." 

"I don't want you to go," he squeezes my hand 
and puts the dirty coffee pot in the sink. "Please." 

"It's not always what happens to you but what 
you do with it," I say into his emotionless eyes. "Let me 
go." 

His hand releases, my heart stops, At first, I 
thought he'd fight, regardless of his fantaasy. He wanted 
this town to be a Brigadoon or Bethlehem. When that cat 
swung from the tree, he cut it down. Removing the noose, 
he threw the victim off the edge into the river before little 
Sara Wesley came crying with the Fourth of July band 
silently behind her. No one had a chance to see the truth. 
They told her the cat must have jumped after a bird, hit a 
rock, and drown. The cat with the rope removed from its 
neck, bumped off the riverbank, taken again by the flow. 

No one saw the rope hanging around the neck 
either. But the little girl still cries. That's what has 
frightened me since we moved into this small-minded 
town. Not that innocence can't be raped in the city, there 
they don't pretend so hard. 

"If I thought ... if I felt we could work this out, " 
I start but all the breath vanishes. I wait and finally begin 
again. "I had a - little hope. You were looking for God's 
Green Acre and I was goin along with it. But that was 
before I saw you in the true light last night" 

"I have to get to school," he mutters as he stiffly 
bends for the briefcase. "Last night was ..." 

"A child!" 

"She came to me!" 

"You bastard!" 

"She's a bitch in heat ~ you remember when we 
were sixteen. I remember you." He smears a cocky smile 
across his face. 

My hand swings up and slaps him hard. 

He pushes the screen door open, letting it slowly 
creak close. With the mesh between us, he softly says, 
"You may not believe this, but I never believed I was good 
enough for you. You're the lucky one." 

(con't) 



-22- 



BETHLEHEM, continued 

I step closer to the door as he walks down the 
stepping stones. I loved him and hate him. I reconsider 
setting fire to the house — but hasn't he his own hell? 

When he doesn't come home after the final school 
bell rings, I pack as promised. And when the moon, full 
this time, awakes, I swing the last suitcase into the car. 

VODKA BOWL 

Christian Bernal 

Cool mid-afternoon breeze circles in my room 

Purple incense in the ashtray 

burn 

Stevies on the radio 

I'm on the couch 

There's a Cheshire cat under my bed 

and shadow indians on my ceiling 

The sun is cold this morning 



but bright 



SIN FOR LIFE 



MarkDarwyn 



Woe is me 
whose sins are such 
that none but I 
can judge 

The act of murder is 
not my sin, nor that 
of adultery or theft 
or greed. The glory 
of feelings that one 
must emote while 
commiting such acts 
must excite the mind 
and tickle the soul. 

My spiritual fate is not 
that which animates life, 
nor will I suffer pangs 
of hellfire hunger within 
my belly after death. 

Instead, my life source 
soaks and seethes with the 
icy cold umbra of nonfeeling 
that is the essence of a 
midnight sun shining with 
non life and non sin 



ROLLING STONE 

Donica Rampa 



Rolling Stone 
And Marvel Comics- 
Trademarks of the boy 
Wearing a baseball cap 
And sixties shades 
Buying a brand new toy 

Compassion and 
a weight set 
Trademarks of the man 
Wearing sadness but 
bringing laughter, 
Struggling to make a stand. 



SHRIVELED 

Jonathan Wolff 



Shriveled 

brown leaves 
Scattered 

on the trees, 
Clinging to the 

lost dreams 
of summer. 



NO PERSONAL CHECKS 

Donica Rampa 



I dallied too long 
when I was off 
window shopping for love 
Because by the time 
I got up the courage 
to make a purchase- 
It was after business hours. 



-23- 



CLEAR WATERS 



ON WISCONSIN 



RickKroeza 



MaikDarwyn 



From the pen 
The poet scribbles 
Thoughts of then 
Passed off as mumbles 
Take to heart 
The words he's spoken 
Search your soul 
Find pieces broken 

From lack of thought 
And consideration 
The feelings you fought 
And actions wrong taken 
Wandering blind 
Through a sea of dreams 
Hoping to find 
What it all now means 



THE EVIL INSIDE OF YOU 



I once lived in the Wisconsin woods, 
among Scotch and Jack and Cedar . . . 

At night smokey flames throw flying sparks 
upward to merge with sparkled dark sky light, 
the wind from the lake blows sweet freshener 
that could not be bought in a store, 
the sandy highline rises and falls by the lake 
with the rthymic quality of the waves, 
while little cottages along the way 
exist in piece with people beside them. 

The Hideaway Inn beckons by the shore 

and people eat, talk, and delight within, 

nearby forest pond are stable and still 

as deer and birds animate about, 

while back in my woodlands I 

sleep and dream of the peace around me, 

and I wake to a dew-filled morn 

wet with yearning for a new Wisconsin day. 



Jeff Hicks 

The evil inside of you 
always growing at a constant speed 
devouring you inner self 
your conciousness 
your dreams 
your life 

from which you can never be healed 
you can't escape it 

it's inside of you 
you can't run away 

it's a part of you 
you can't release it 

because it's clamped down tight 
This is the evil that all mortals fear . . . 

This evil is love 

TAKE A LOOK AT ME 

Donica Rampa 

Take a look at me 

the dancing fool 
I can make them laugh 

with my words and antics 
But my smile 
is contrived for my purpose 



A.P.I.B.L. 

Steev Custer 



She didn't tell me 
before she left, she put a 
flower of strength in her 

beautiful hair. 
Tonite shell be with him, 
and it could be forever. 

but her words might 
have held me safe for longer. 
She didn't tell me. 

She could've helped me. 
but she left, with him, 
and that flower that 
giggled and grinned 
the way out the front door. 
Tonite will be forever, 
and simple words could've 
help me steadfast 
She wouldn't help me. 

She could've killed me. 
and the night wouldn't 
wink in my favor. 
She could've killed me, 
but I did it for her. 



-24- 



SHE WRITES WITH HER PEN 



DAYBREAK 



Lyubov Mir 



Laura Offrink 



She writes with her pen 
She writes on her paper 

But she writes with my words 

The words I put in her mind. 
She thinks she's the only one to feel this way 

But there have been others 

And there will be others 
Held fast under my spell. 
She writes of love 
And she talks of love 

But she doesn't know what it means. 
She's heard what I can do 
She wants to know if it's true 

No matter what it costs her. 
She pours her heart out onto the paper 

But not her heart: mine. 
She's just like all the others 

Who have searched for me 

Tried to capture me 

Tried to figure me out 
They never will. 

Mortals cannot explain me. 

Dust can not comprehend me. 
But she will try 
And I will break her 

As I have before to so many others 
As she plays my game 

Of love. 



JAN 20TH 

Justin Gale 

i am not 
ignorant 
King lives long 
down 
with 
damn 
white 



fools 



Night drifts into day 
Leaving mist in its way 
As the light transforms the dark 
Moonlight shadows softly part 
And a force has made its way 
As the night turns into day 

Darkness is replaced 
By a transfigured light 
Soon night life will slowly end 
As daybreak calls us back again 
In a new and different way 
As the night turns into day 

Out jumps day from night 
As dark runs in flight 
And flees from the rising light 
Now children can come and play 
And poke fun in every way 
As the night turns into day 

As the sun rises 

After hours of rest 

It makes each day seem the best 

Brightness towers over land 

And one feels a warm light ray 

As the night turns into day 



LIVIN' ON THE EDGE 

Donica Rampa 

Livin' life in the fast lane, 

Thinkin' that you got it all, 

gonna' run into trouble, 

Who's gonna catch you when you fall? 

Daddy's got a lot of money, 
he gives you your desire. 
Runnin' around like a maniac - 
You know your playin' with fire. 

Livin' on the edge, 
Pushing it too far, 
better take it easy now, 
you don't know where you are. 



-25- 



ONCE 

Jennifer Jay 

Once 

Yet on and on again 

I And myself close to the end. 

But it turns to be the start 

Rather, the continuation of this loathsome life. 

God knows when 

And if 

I will be reborn 

so that I may take on a more peaceful form. 

Tranquility 

So far So far 

Truthfully thought, the blind cold grey 

Of death 

Is in my own hands. 

Yet I watch out of hazel eyes 

The hour glass sands 

Stream to the past. 

Stupified sometimes 

by the pain. 

It's not in my hands, 

These are the wrists that bind the pulse. 

Instinct 

Cannot let it go so far. 

Suffer. 

A dam is what it is, 

Holding back 

Crowded close 

Denied 

Torrents lashing 

My mind boils rage and abnormal passion. 

Suffer. 



THE STARLESS SKY 

Lyubov Mu- 
lt is frightening 
To look up into the night and see 

A starless sky. 
No lights to guide you 
No patterns to show you the way 

The light obscured by clouds 

Or maybe just not there. 
The starless sky holds nothing 

But darkness. 
Nothing but an expanse of black 
Waiting for the dawn to come 
Waiting for the light 



WHEN ALL YOUR CARING HAS LEFT YOUR LIFE 

Marie Cecily 

When all your caring has left your life, 
When your world is tumbling down, 
When the strain is too great, 
This is when I'll hold you up. 
When the secrets can't be held, 
When all your feelings must be shared, 
When your soul needs healing, 
This is when I'll open my heart for you. 
when your world turns cold, 
When the ice cuts through your soul, 
When you need to be warmed, 
This is when I'll protect you. 
When you no longer feel my presence, 
When you realize I'm not there, 
When you find you need me most, 
This is when I'll be waiting 
For you to come to me. 

LATE NIGHT JAZZ LISTENER 

MarkDarwyn 

Hey Jazz Man, 
play me a song 
to fill my soul 
that will dump out 
my Christmas coal. 

Caress my ears 
with funky horns, 
purge myself anew 
and make me feel reborn. 

Mmm. That's good. 
Phones cling to my head 
as I dance in my bed. 
No more can be said 
than I am listening 
to right now. 

These room walls are all blue, 
but the music here is all new, 
and unlike life it rings true, 
despite the fact that there are 
only two minutes left to the disc. 

When the music is over 

I swaar I will repent. 

Ill face my ife and 

pay off the debts I've been lent. 

But first I want to hear 

the rest of this song. 

And then another and another, 

All through the night 



-26- 



OVER THE CHILLS 

Christian Bernal 

cold emotions 
bathing in worms 
a sliding orgasm 
encased in porcelain 

gold floors 

glistening cobblestones 

crystal horses 

clear images by the floatim: firs of the walkway 

bright feathers of a hawk 

a prehistoric wingspan 

eclipsing in the shimmering moon 

shattered reflections take flight 

in the deep 

lush 

night 

reborn on the black sands of eternity 

MY OWN PERFECT WORLD 

Teresa Garcia 

As the wind blows through my hair 

It takes away all my worries 

Leaving behind my pains and problems 

Crying my tears as I cry 

It takes me to a place filled with love 

Green grass, flowers and trees 

The sunshine bringing happiness 

Birds singing melodies 

The birds soaring through the blue sky 

The shining sun showing peace 

The formation of each individual leaf (con't) 



The dandelions bringing back old childhood memories 

This place is filled with love 

Thoughts of only peace and happiness 

Where everyone could be themselves 

My own perfect world where I could be me . . . 

I DROVE THROUGH YOUR HURT 

Steev Custer 

I drove through you hurt 

last night. My headlight weren't 

strong enough to cut depression's 

thick cloud, but I could tell by 

the thuds, pings, and screams that 

I didn't want to see. 

I cut the headlights and windshield 

wipers off to avoid dissarray's 

creation. It didn't jlp. 

Driving last night made me realize 

That i really understand 

when you say "I'm depressed." 

Because I've been there, and 

I've been with you for so long. 

Also, I love you. 

And three, no matter what I 

see ahead, I never want 

to look behind in the 

rear- view mirror of my mind. 

BEAUTIFUL CHILD 

Donica Rampa 

Beautiful child 
Watch him play 
This world's grief 
Shades not his day 
In the sun field 
he will 

run 

and learn 



oh beautiful child, 
have fun. 



and laugh 



-27- 



t— 



NEARLY SPRING 



COME! 



Linda Sieger 

Friends 

male and female 

writers, lovers of the universe's soul 

we walk 

in a circle around campus 

handing each other pieces of 
the fabric we feel hold us together 

Stalling departure, 
we stop. 

Sitting in the dark 

under a tree 

on a picnic bench 

you and I 
tell stories 

of our lives 
so different 
and so related 

And as the cold breath 
of midnight 
creeps up your sleeves 
and under my skirt 

We start the walk 
to complete the circle 

But before we cross 

the parking lot to our cars 

I pause reaching for 

three short, delicate branches 

of flowers from a tree 

And, as you prepare to leave me, 

I ask, "Do you want one of my flowers?" 



Jonathan Wolff 



Come! 

Partake in the consummation 

of this 

Fine, 

Ancient 

liquid. 

Slowly, 

Sip by sip. 

It allows you to 

become your true self. 
The demons that 

reign within 
Can be released. 

The oldest of 

intoxicants! 
Courage, 
Self-confidence, 
Stupidity. 
All are contained 

within. 
How can such a pleasure 

be such a sin? 
It will take you on 

a journey 
To the depths of 

your soul. 
Read the 'lore 

of old... 

it will tell you. 
However, be careful. 
You are never told 

where death awaits. 
All it takes 

is one loss of control 
For one to sell 

one's soul. 
Ill never tell 
YouJ will not 

forsake. 



"Yes, HI put it on my desk in the morning. 



-28- 




H13T-TU inwi tmikHSSMmfSSSfgSSStSXISH